The MAP Fund, one of Creative Capital’s ancillary programs, supports live performance projects, and we love sharing an office with them because we get to hear about all the amazing, exciting artists they support! MAP—which was founded in 1988, making it among the longest-standing grant programs in contemporary performance—distributes over $1 million each year to projects that tend to be experimental in nature and that “question, disrupt and complicate inherited notions of cultural and social hierarchies across the American landscape.” Program Director, Moira Brennan, says “MAP has a long history of supporting artists and arts organizations that might fall through the cracks at more traditional funders. Because it’s been around so long, it has really led the charge toward a more diverse and expansive performing arts sector in this country. We love this time of year, because we get to hear about the incredible work being done in performance far and wide. It’s inspiring!”
The 2015 MAP Fund grant round is now open for Letters of Inquiry through September 28, so we thought we’d tell you about some of the projects they have supported in the past couple of years.
Prumsodun Ok – Beloved
The piece is inspired by an Ankorian fertility rite recorded in the 13th century in which a Khmer king has a sexual rendezvous with a nine-headed serpent who took the form of a woman (wow, the 13th century sounds pretty cool). But the artist Prumsodun Ok turns the fable on its head with a modern twist: Beloved takes Khmer classical dance, strips it of the heavy costumes and casts it upon a history of ritual homosexual lovemaking, revealing a layer of eroticism in the ancient art form.
niv Acosta – Discotropic
Performance artist niv Acosta creates a space for people of marginalized experience where viewers and performers can be relaxed, inspired and self-empowered. Discotropic, part of which was recently performed at New Museum’s Surround Audience exhibition, is part living graphic novel and live events episodes exploring sci-fi, disco, astrophysics and the Black American experience.
Anne Carson – Doggie Hamlet
What do you get when you combine Shakespeare, actors, a herding dog and a flock of sheep? Anne Carson’s Doggie Hamlet! The performance spectacle will take place in a green meadow – fittingly, because it involves actual sheep and a herding dog. Combining dance and theater, the work will borrow from Shakespeare’s Hamlet while also touching on themes of humans and non-human relationships.
STEW – Idea(s) of Harlem
Musician, composer and visual artist STEW explores the reality and the myth of the iconic neighborhood of Harlem through the lens of writer James Baldwin. Harlem Stage commissioned a song cycle from STEW made up of a trio ensemble and video design. The project hopes to illuminate, challenge and probe feelings and images we normally associate with Harlem. Click here to listen to Fresh Air’s interview with STEW.
To read more about MAP Fund and to apply to their LOI before the Sept. 28 deadline, click here.